Temporary showcaseMade of bronze, the statue in Austin’s likeness was commissioned and paid for by First State Bank of Noble. It temporarily will be showcased at the family’s home on Etowah Road until a final destination is secured. “We just couldn’t believe that someone would want to do that for us,” Renee Haley said. “We’re glad to have it here for everyone to see.” Family members gathered Monday at the family property in Noble for the unveiling and to release balloons in honor of Austin, something they do every year on his birthday. The balloons have a note inside and the Haleys say they’ve gotten a response from San Antonio. “It’s something we do for Austin, to honor him and tell people why we are doing,” Renee Haley said. “So, to get a call from somebody in San Antonio was really great.”
No lawsuitIn a society where litigation and wrongful death lawsuits are commonplace, it’s almost odd to find out the Haleys never sued the Noble Police Department or the officers who were trying to get the snake out of the birdhouse for their roles in Austin’s death. But that doesn’t mean the couple didn’t want to see some form of justice.
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‘The day the stachue came alive' By Dalton Haley Editor's note: Dalton Haley, who was with his older brother, Austin, when the shooting occurred, wrote this story about what might happen if the life-size statue of his brother came to life. Dalton was 3 the day his brother died. He's now 7 and the eldest living child of Jack and Renee Haley. One day these people were putting up a statue of Austin, and surprise!!! I sat right beside him. When they were done, I hugged Austin. It felt like a golden ring going onto my hand. He looked like a handsome bubba, and I loved him very much. I was hugging it and hugging it and hugging it. My mama, Renee, was taking pictures ... when all of a sudden he came alive! We played my Wii together first. He said, “Bubba, this is so much fun. Do you want to go play outside?” I said, “Yeah, sure. Let's bring Gabriel and Mikayla. We'll jump on the trampoline and play on our swing set.” Then, we went to go get a snack inside. We ate a chocolate chip cookie. After that, we went to play with my toys upstairs. Austin's favorite toy was Buzz Lightyear and Woody, too. My favorite was Austin being with me. We went downstairs to read our Bible. He stayed with us forever and ever and ever. I gave him hugs and kisses and more hugs and kisses. I didn't stop. He gave me hugs and kisses over and over, too. He loves me more than I love him and that's impossible because I love him too much. It made me feel like I had treasure from Heaven. He never had to leave ... ever ... ever. So, we lived happily ever after.